Thursday, April 25, 2013

Buttermilk Bread


A few weeks ago, The Hubs surprised me with a new bread machine.  We’d had another one years ago, when the Foodie children were small, but in those days baking bread was the last thing on my to-do list–somewhere after taking the Foodie children to/from day care, getting them something to eat before they starved to death, bathing the Foodie children, reading them bedtime stories, doing laundry, etc. etc.  I made the occasional loaf of bread on the weekend, but not often enough to justify taking the bread machine with us when we moved from Missouri to Texas.  It was one of many things that disappeared as the result of a massive pre-moving yard sale.

Fast forward twelve years or so.  Now that I’m trying hard to stick with a gluten-free diet, bread is a serious issue.  Store-bought gluten-free bread is pricey, to say the least, and although I’ve found a brand I like, it’s hard to justify spending a small chunk of money on bread that only I will eat.  When The Hubs surprised me with the new bread machine, I decided to aim for making bread that the whole Foodie family can enjoy.

I started with this recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef.  I left out the last four ingredients, since I was trying to make a basic loaf of bread–and it turned out beautifully.  The bread was crusty and chewy and delightful.  Everyone loved it.  I thought, perhaps, I’d solved my bread dilemma.  And then, sadly I discovered that my body doesn’t like sorghum flour.  Every time I ate a slice of the bread, I’d end up with a stomach ache.  It took awhile for me to make the connection between the bread and the stomach pain that came back every time I ate it, but once I made that link, I realized I’d have to start looking for another recipe.

Which brings us to this: Buttermilk Bread.


As you might be able to tell from the photos, this bread is more similar to basic white sandwich bread.  The crust is soft, not crispy, which makes it easy to chew–a plus, if you’re feeding small children–and also makes it a bit of a treat for the Foodie children, who very rarely get to eat white bread. (The Boy, in fact, says “It tastes like bread.”  Given his super-sensitive taste buds, I’d call that a rousing endorsement.)

The batch featured here was made with a cup of brown rice flour and a cup of white rice flour. You can also use two cups of white rice flour, if that’s what you have on hand–the loaf I made with only white rice flour turned out fine, though it dried out quickly.  This recipe also calls for powdered buttermilk, which I found on the baking aisle of my local grocery store.  Buttermilk gives this bread a bit more flavor than the recipes I tried using regular powdered milk.

A few things to keep in mind, when it comes to making gluten-free bread in a bread machine:

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for baking gluten-free bread in your bread machine.  Some machines have a gluten-free setting; some are programmable; others suggest using a particular program.   Mine suggests the Basic setting, which seems to work fine.
  2. Keep in mind that the temperature of your ingredients is crucial when you’re making bread (gluten-free or otherwise.)  Your eggs need to be at room temperature; your water should be a little too warm to touch comfortably, but not so warm that you can’t stick your finger in it.  If these ingredients are too cold, your yeast will be unhappy.
  3. And speaking of yeast: be sure it hasn’t expired.  Yeast is a living thing, and it will die if it sits in the cupboard too long.
  4. However, remember that gluten-free breads generally don’t rise as much as wheat-based breads.  This is because gluten-free flours are heavier, and because gluten is what helps wheat bread hold its shape and height.  If your loaf turns out shorter than you expected, don’t despair.  It will still be tasty.
  5. Also remember that gluten-free breads don’t brown in the same way wheat-based breads do–the top of your loaf will likely remain rather pale.  Don’t overbake your bread by putting it in the oven for additional baking time.  Gluten-free breads dry out quickly, so make your peace with the pale top crust.
  6. Remove gluten-free bread from the bread pan as soon as it’s finished baking and allow it to cool on a baking rack.  Letting the loaf cool in the pan will leave you with soggy bread.
  7. Finally, remember that gluten-free breads need to cool completely before you eat them.  Otherwise, the bread will crumble when you try to slice it–and, more importantly, the texture will be gluey.  Warm bread is just one of the things a gluten-free diet can’t accommodate.

This bread holds up well in the toaster, works well for sandwiches, and will last for a couple of days if you keep it covered in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.


Buttermilk Bread


1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup powdered buttermilk
1 tsp. salt
3 T. sugar
4 T. butter, melted, slightly cooled
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 T. dry yeast


In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Whisk them together, then set the bowl aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and the eggs. Add the lukewarm water and whisk again. Pour the combined wet ingredients into the bread pan of your bread machine.

Spoon the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, but don't stir. Sprinkle the yeast over the dry ingredients, then set the bread pan into the bread machine.

Bake the bread according to the manufacturer's directions for baking gluten-free bread in your bread machine. Remove the loaf from the bread pan as soon as it's finished baking and allow it to cool completely before eating.

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17 Responses to “Buttermilk Bread”

  1. 1

    Heather — January 22, 2015 @ 11:57 am

    Hi! I have gluten free flour mix, could I sub that for the separated flours? Thanks!

  2. 2

    familyfoodie — January 24, 2015 @ 12:19 pm

    Yes! I’ve also made this bread using Namaste brand’s Perfect Flour Blend–the texture is a little different, but not much. Good luck!

  3. 3

    steffani — January 25, 2015 @ 12:21 am

    THANK YOU!!!! I have been scared to try making bread for my little guy who is gf! But I loved how it turned out! I also liked how you included the tips before hand!

  4. 4

    familyfoodie — February 1, 2015 @ 9:28 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Having a good, basic loaf of bread in the house makes gf living so much easier on everybody.

  5. 5

    Nicole — February 9, 2015 @ 7:32 pm

    I am a freezer meal mom and am trying to transition the whole family to gf, for my son’s sake. Do you think I can freeze this once it’s made?

  6. 6

    familyfoodie — February 11, 2015 @ 8:17 pm

    I haven’t tried freezing this bread, but since it has a very tender crumb I think it would stand up to freezing and not dry out too badly. Let me know how it goes, if you try it!

  7. 7

    Sarah — July 6, 2015 @ 8:02 am

    I made this last night with Namaste flour, and it is wonderful! My first ever bread attempt, and my GF family loves.

  8. 8

    Five for Friday, July 24 - She Dwells in Possibility — August 14, 2015 @ 7:06 am

    […] bread machine this week, so I’ve been making loaf after loaf of this delicious, soft, gluten-free Buttermilk Bread. Give it a try this weekend! You won’t be […]

  9. 9

    Megan Miller — September 7, 2015 @ 7:00 pm


    the flour i use is a combination of sweet rice flour, white ricee flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, cornstarch and anthem gum— do you know how much i would use in substitute of the amounts above?

  10. 10

    Pam — September 7, 2015 @ 8:37 pm

    Megan, that blend sounds very similar to the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend, which I have used with this recipe before. Just substitute your blend for the total amount of flour (3 cups) and leave out the xanthan gum–you might end up with a slightly different texture, but the bread should turn out fine!

  11. 11

    Megan — September 7, 2015 @ 8:48 pm

    Thanks! Does anyone know.. can this be made without a bread machine

  12. 12

    Jessica — October 13, 2015 @ 3:03 pm

    I don’t have powered buttermilk. Have you tried making it without? Or could I use almond milk?

    • Pam replied: — October 16th, 2015 @ 7:26 pm

      I have not tried making this recipe without the powdered buttermilk, so I can’t suggest an alternative. Sorry!

  13. 13

    Lou — December 2, 2015 @ 3:16 pm

    Can I use liquid buttermilk in place of powdered? Also, can it be made in a standard oven instead of a bread machine?

  14. 14

    Sandra — March 3, 2016 @ 3:17 pm

    i only had 1 tbs of yeast!! Will it still come out ok??!! It’s in the breadmaker now.

    • Pam replied: — March 3rd, 2016 @ 5:14 pm

      It won’t rise as much, so the texture will be heavier and more dense–but it should still taste good!

  15. 15

    Sandra — March 3, 2016 @ 6:27 pm

    Thanks Pam, it came out delicious! My son has Celiac Disease and he loves it! Thanks for the recipe. 😀

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